After two seasons of being at the helm of the North Central Predators
(NCP) U-11 team, Head Coach Tobias Whelan will be returning to NCP to lead the U-12
team during the 2023-24 season.
Coming off of a successful season – coaching
the U-11 team to a strong ETA playoff performance, which earned them a spot in the
2023 OMHA Championship Weekend – his goal is to keep the momentum going. “We had a strong second half of the
season this year and we had a great playoff run. I hope the kids can build off
the success they had and follow it up with a strong season right from the
start,” said Whelan.
A graduate of the North Central Predators AAA program himself, Whelan has been a part of the coaching staff since 2012. He was an Assistant Coach during the 2012-13 (U-14) and 2013-14 (U-15) seasons and again during the 2016-17 (U-11) and 2017-18 (U-12) seasons. Additionally, he was the NCP Skill Development Instructor from 2013-2019. His coaching experience also includes his time as an Assistant Coach for the Orillia Junior C Terriers during the 2014-15 season and as the Orillia Minor Hockey Tyke Program Lead Development Instructor from 2017-2020.
His on-ice credentials include playing for the OHL’s Oshawa Generals from 2000-2004 and in the CIS for the Lakehead University Varsity Men’s Hockey team from 2004-2009. This was followed by his professional hockey experience with the CHL’s Allen Americans in Texas and the Rodovre Mighty Bulls in the Danish Elite League. Whelan was named the Team Captain of both the Generals and Americans and an Alternate Captain during his time at Lakehead and Rodovre.
“I always knew I wanted to stay involved with hockey and wanted to give back. When I quit playing hockey and moved back to town (his hometown of Orillia, ON), I was approached by past NCP President Pat Morris to help out with the NCP team he was coaching at the time. I started going to practices and got more and more involved and I have been coaching ever since.,” he said.
This coming season Whelan said he hopes to see the U-12 team push to get into the top half of the standings in their league with a goal of reaching a winning percentage above .500. “We are still playing catch up to most of the teams in the league when it comes to both individual skill sets and team play. We still have much to learn and improve on and I anticipate we still have some growing pains to go through.”
He said the focus for the coaching staff will be to continue to develop a team with an overall strong work ethic and positive attitude. “The aim is to develop characteristics on and off the ice that will help these young athletes to achieve success now and in the future, in hockey and outside of hockey,” he said.
It's an exciting year ahead for this group!